Sunday, February 20, 2011

Reflections on the Devolution in Chicago

The Wall Street Journal reported (link) this past week on some new data from the U.S. Census Bureau:
A larger-than-expected exodus over the past 10 years reduced the population of Chicago to a level not seen in nearly a century. The U.S. Census Bureau reported … that during the decade ended in 2010, Chicago's population fell 6.9% … [to] fewer than [was] reported back in 1920…. [T]he recent recession accelerated a migration both to the metropolitan area's farthest suburbs and to the Southern U.S…. The influx of residents to outlying areas could … —particularly minorities—could make those regions more politically diverse. For instance, said University of New Hampshire demographer Kenneth Johnson, "DuPage County could become less Republican."
Chicago’s retiring Mayor Daley, a Democrat and the longest serving mayor in city history, having just surpassed his father in that regard, has been popular not so much because of what his is but rather because of what he is not – a worse alternative. One must not conflate popularity with cost-effectiveness.

Despite the Daley Democrats the steady migration to the suburbs and the South continues. Residents are voting with their feet in search of safer neighborhoods, cheaper and more honest government, better schools, more reliable services, and, of course, better job prospects in areas more friendly to the businesses that maintain and create them.

And to what new lands are these residents fleeing? To towns and states where the policies and values of Republican and conservative voters predominate. But in what should be fodder for a million PhD theses, in a triumph of will over experience, of desire over judgement, many of these refugees from failed Democrat polities don’t miss a beat and continue voting for Democrats from their new homes, against the very Republicans who made their new neighborhoods worth moving for. Validating the principle that you can fool some of the people all of the time, they continue to vote for Democrats who promise them more things with less accountability.

The foundation of a democracy rests on the wisdom of its people, and in the wisdom of such citizens lies the hope of our Republic.

John M Greco

Related post:
Democrat Voters Migrate to Republican Areas For Better Jobs, Safer Neighborhoods, and Better Services, But Then Still Vote For Democrats; Go Figure

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